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A portrait of Mirza Adeeb
A portrait of Mirza Adeeb

Mirza Adeeb, PP, BA (Hon), (Urdu: مرزا ادیب‎—Mirzā Adīb; 4 April 1914 — 31 July 1999[2][3][4]), also known as Meerza Adeeb, (میرزا ادیب—Mīrzā Adīb),[4] was a Pakistani Urdu writer[5] of drama and short story.[6] His plays and short stories won him six prizes and awards from the Pakistan Writers' Guild.[2]


Mirza Adeeb's birth name was Mirza Dilawer,[7][8] but he came to be known in the literary world as Mirza Adeeb. (Mirza denotes the rank of a high nobleman or Prince,[1] and Adeeb means 'Litterateur'.)

Early life

He was born in 1914, in Lahore, British India to Mirza Basheer Ali.[9][2] He attended Government Islamia High School, Bhati Gate, Lahore. He got his Bachelor of Arts degree from Islamia College, Lahore. In the beginning, he made poetry his device,[2] but later pursued his interest in playwriting as his métier.[7]


At first, being influenced from the Rūmānwī Tẹḥrīk, (رومانوی تحریک—Urdu for The Romanticist Movement), he wrote romantic prose.[10]

Later, he switched to writing plays about everyday events and incidents taking place in the society; focusing more on social problems and quotidian issues. His later works were pragmatist and verisimilitudinous.[8] He used simple and everyday language in his plays, which enabled them to get a greater audience. Moreover, he had begun writing one-act dramas, which made them easier to broadcast over radio and television.[11] When he affiliated himself with Radio Pakistan, many of his plays were broadcast and they gained popularity among the masses.[12] He is listed as a prominent Urdu playwright of the Modern Era.[11]

His main works, other than dramas, include stories and biographies.[11] He also wrote critical essays and commentaries on books, besides writing columns in newspapers. He was also influenced by the Taraqqī-Pasasnd Tẹḥrīk (ترقّی-پسند تحریک—Urdu for Progressive Movement).[11] Besides, he also discharged his duties as the editor of many magazines, of which the most notable is Adab-e Laṭīf, (ادبِ لطیف—Urdu for 'Humorous Literature'). He also translated some American stories to Urdu.[11] Furthermore, he wrote numerous stories for children.


Following are the main features of Mirza Adeeb's style of writing:[11]

  • Objectivity: His plays had a strong sense of objectivity in them.
  • Riveting dialogues: The dialogues he chose were grounded, yet captivating. Each character spoke according to his/her social status and his dramas did not contain artificial, literary dialogues. His dialogues also contained witty repartees and striking replies.
  • Versatility: His story lines include a variety of topics, taken from the prosaic lives on common people.
  • Pragmatism: Rather than focusing on characterisation, as did many of his contemporaries, he focused more on events.
  • Humanitarianism: His plays and stories have a humanitarian and philanthropic outlook.


  • His selective drama-collections are:
  • His selective short-story collections are:[11]
  • His collection of personal biographies is 'Nāxun kā Qarź (ناخن کا قرض, Urdu for 'the Debt of the Fingernail').[2]
  • Miṫṫī kā Diyā (مٹّی کا دیا, Urdu for 'the Earthen Lamp') is his autobiography.[2][8][16][17]


See also

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